Getting back to the real world

'Humidly Hot', United States, New York, New York City, Flat Iron Building
What else is out there to discover?

Yesterday started out slow, then it picked up, and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty great – about most things. Then I got a little bent out of shape about some stupid sh*t in the evening, and the fur flew. Oh, well. We sorted it out by the time I went to bed (too late, by the way).

Come to think of it, the week started out slow. But it’s starting to pick up. I’m getting my head around the office move, as well as the personnel changes at work. I’m also adjusting to the different ways that my company is going to be structured in the future. Parent Company is getting more pro-active. No more leaving us to our own designs. Not anymore. We can’t keep operating in our own little hermetically sealed, private environment. We don’t belong to ourselves — we belong to them. And they’re making that abundantly clear.

Well, it was really just a matter of time before this shift happened. I’ve known it was coming, all along, and I don’t know why I suddenly am NOT ready for it. I’ve been ready… or so I thought. But change is always hard. And getting to a point where it’s truly real, instead of just an abstraction, is another thing entirely.

I think I’m going to just have fun with this. Enjoy the good things about this change — and there are many — and not get caught up in too much grieving and loss over what’s going away. In many ways, what is going away has been a real problem for me — disjointed, separated, “silos” of people doing a poor job of working together, and not having a really clear idea of what else is going on in the world. The new configuration will make that all but impossible.

Time to let the world in… It’s about danged time.

Speaking of letting the rest of the world in, I have been noticing a lot, lately, how hard it is for me to get started with things that need to get done. Especially when I am switching gears from another activity. My work is varied at the office – I do a wide variety of things. But I often get stuck in a rut, when I have been doing something for a while. And I stay there. It’s comfortable. I’m not nervous or in pain or concerned. I’m just there. It feels good, in the midst of a world that tends to be nerve-wracking and anxiety-producing. Why switch gears, when things are going so well the way they are (or they feel like they are)?

Of course, it’s no good for my various projects, if I don’t switch gears. It’s a problem. I’m behind schedule on a number of things at work, and the one thing that is saving my a** is that my group is down a person (my old terrible boss left last Friday), so they can’t afford to lose any more people. I really need to get these things squared away by year end, and while that seems like long way off, let’s do a quick reality check — it’s October. Nearly midway through. That means I’ve got, oh, about 10 weeks, to sort things out.

Not a lot of time, actually.

Thinking about how to get myself back on track… There are some pretty critical things I’ve been needing to do, but I haven’t done them. Week after week has passed without me doing these things, and it’s getting ridiculous. Again, I think I’m giving myself too much time to get them done. If I give myself half an hour, instead of two hours, it can force me to focus in and just get things done. Or at least get started. When I have all the time in the world, there’s less urgency, and I start later. And don’t finish when I should.

The other thing that’s been getting in my way has been getting all kinds of scattershot demands from a variety of people who don’t go through any particular sort of process. The whole company where I work is pretty much devoid of process, which is very exciting and energizing — up to a point. After a certain point, it just becomes chaos … a slowly drifting cloud of catch-as-catch-can initiatives that may or may not get done. Everybody falling all over each other, trying to move forward. Kind of like a start-up, with 100 times as many people all in the running.

So, how to fix this? I can’t do a lot about others’ awful time management, but I can take steps to tend my own garden, so to speak. And if I do a good job of managing my own time, then that may rub off on others. Yeah – be a model for them. Show them what works, then let them draw their own conclusions.  Hmmmm… what to do?

First off, I need to stop giving myself so much time. Seriously. I have been giving myself way too much time to complete different tasks, telling myself I need the extra hours/days/weeks to “think things through”. Ridiculous. I’m not thinking anything through. I’m thinking in circles. And the more I think in circles, the more tied up I get in muck.

I think part of my problem is also my level of wakefulness. When I’m not sharp, not “on”, I tend to get mired. I also tend to isolate, which will be all but impossible in the new building. That’s good – we’re going to be in much more open space, which I am hoping will help me to not get so distracted by all the internal crap that keeps me from engaging with others. Sure, it’s going to be a lot harder to find quiet space to work and have calls with colleagues in other locations, but I think it will be helpful in other ways.

More than anything, though, has been the defensive posture I got into with my old boss. They were just so intrusive, so demeaning, so disrespectful… and demanding of things that didn’t make any sense. So much of my time was spent fixing the stuff they totally screwed up… no wonder I’m tired. It was exhausting working for them. But now they’re not here. I still am, and now I can start to pull ahead. I can start making friends and connections with people I haven’t met before — people who can do me some good (and vice versa) in the new organization.

A lot of things are going to change when we move, and more people from the parent company are getting integrated into the organization. It’s already started, and the people who have been here a while are getting nervous. They’re scared what it might mean for their jobs, I suppose, and rightfully so. As for me, I’m updating my resume and keeping in touch with recruiters… just in case. You can’t be too careful. Not in this economy.

But never mind that. Right here, right now, I actually have a new lease on life. My old boss from hell is gone, baby, gone, leaving me without that god-awful added layer of BS to navigate. This is good. This is better. It’s taken me 48 hours to start to decompress, but it’s happening. Thinking back, they were just such a nightmare, controlling and manipulating and power-mongering at every step of the way. Tiresome. Now I don’t have to deal with that anymore, and while Monday was a bust, with a lot of energy going to the transition away from having them around (and getting used to the idea of the move), today is a new day. I was up early. I have a whole day ahead of me — without intrusion or interference from an intensely insecure individual. I can re-start a number of projects I put on ice while they were around, because they were just so controlling and intrusive and were constantly telling me what I should and should not do… often to their own advantage and my disadvantage.

I can go back to doing what I want and need to do, instead of “managing up” to their denseness.

So, yeah, this is pretty great. I look around me, and the world is starting to look new again. I can’t let my lost 24 hours and the delays on projects get me down — I have a whole new avenue open to me, and it’s good. Plus, I’m having lunch with friends today who I haven’t seen in years, and I’m looking forward to being closer to them, when we move the office.

Ultimately, this is a really good move. It’s a grown-up move, away from the protected little space this company used to inhabit. It’s good that things are changing now, before I got too used to doing things that way. Because ultimately, that would have hurt me more than anything else. Gotta notch it up a level or two, and see what else is out there.

Gotta get back in the game.